Autor
Gerrit Kubassa - Gründer & Geschäftsführer der Aquadona GmbH
Gerrit Kubassa
Gründer & Geschäftsführer der Aquadona GmbH

Water Resources Act in the EU and Germany: Public drinking water wells to reduce plastic waste

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Water Resources Act in the EU and Germany: Public drinking water wells to reduce plastic waste

In recent decades, awareness of environmental issues and the need for sustainable use of resources has increased. One area that urgently requires sustainable restructuring is our use of drinking water and plastic. This includes the implementation of laws such as the Water Resources Act in Germany and comparable regulations in the European Union to regulate water consumption and reduce plastic waste.

The German Water Resources Act (WHG) was passed in 2009 and lays the basis for responsible use of water resources. It comprises various areas, including water maintenance, flood protection and water supply. It is a key tool for ensuring the sustainable use and protection of our water resources.

Similar regulations exist at EU level. The EU Water Framework Directive, for example, aims to improve the protection of water resources and harmonise water management. Both laws — both the German WHG and the EU Water Framework Directive — set the framework within which cities and municipalities can manage their water resources efficiently and sustainably.

One specific measure that has been implemented at both national and EU level since 12.01.2023 is the installation of public drinking water wells. These wells would provide the population with free access to clean drinking water and at the same time reduce the consumption of plastic bottles, which are usually only used once and then thrown away. It is a well-known fact that plastic bottles cause significant environmental problems, including pollution and excessive waste, and help fill global landfills or oceans.

Public drinking water wells are not a new idea; in fact, they were common in many cities in the past. In recent years, however, there has been increasing use of bottled water, which has led to a dramatic increase in plastic waste. The reintroduction of public drinking water wells could help reverse this trend.

Aside from reducing plastic waste, public drinking water wells would also offer a range of other benefits. They could improve overall hydration, particularly due to noticeable heat waves in cities where people spend a lot of time outdoors. They could also contribute to social equality by providing all people, regardless of their income, with access to clean drinking water.

However, in order to achieve this goal, various challenges must be overcome. This includes ensuring water quality, building and maintaining infrastructure, and public acceptance and trust. To ensure this, the Aquadona GmbH team has only been offering weatherproof and hygienically perfect drinking water wells since 2014.

An important aspect that must be considered when implementing public drinking water wells is the issue of hygiene. Despite the obvious benefits they offer, public drinking water wells can contribute to the spread of disease without proper hygiene measures.

One of the main requirements is that the water in the well must be kept pure at all times. This means that regular maintenance and cleaning work is required to ensure that the water is not contaminated by bacteria such as E.coli or microorganisms. It is also necessary to regularly check and test the quality of the water in the wells. Our piped drinking fountains are checked 3 times before delivery to cities to minimize the likelihood of contamination prior to installation. If bacterial contamination can be detected in the laboratory after installation, it can only be caused by an unhygienic installation.

It is also important that the design of the wells takes hygiene into account. For example, the dispensing area should be designed to avoid direct contact between the outlet and the user's mouth or water bottles. In addition, the wells should be made of materials that are easy to clean and resistant to the spread of microorganisms. A powder-coated surface similar to that of all our outdoor drinking fountains

In addition to these physical measures, educational and information campaigns should also be carried out to raise awareness of the proper use of wells. This could be done, for example, by posting signs with clear instructions or through public information campaigns.

Compliance with hygiene standards for public drinking water wells is therefore a complex task that requires careful planning and continuous monitoring. Yet the potential benefits — both in terms of reducing plastic waste and improving access to clean drinking water — are so great that these efforts are worthwhile. It is therefore crucial that public authorities address this challenge and ensure that hygiene is a top priority when providing drinking water wells. We are happy to help you with our expertise since 2014!

In summary, the installation of public drinking water wells could be a significant step towards more sustainable and environmentally friendly water management. It requires a coordinated effort at all levels — from the local community to national governments to the European Union. Ultimately, this measure would help to meet the goals of the Water Resources Act and the EU Water Framework Directive and pave the way to a sustainable and environmentally friendly future.

Autor

Gerrit Kubassa - Gründer & Geschäftsführer der Aquadona GmbH
Gerrit Kubassa
Gründer & Geschäftsführer der Aquadona GmbH